On Thursday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis commuted a truck driver’s sentence from 110 years to ten years in jail after a horrific accident in 2019.
According to him, on April 25, 2019, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, murdered four people after his brakes failed on a downward gradient on Interstate 70 eastbound west of Denver. Aguilera-Mederos, according to prosecutors, acted carelessly and committed a series of mistakes before the collision.
In a letter dated Thursday, Polis lowered Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence by 100 years, noting that a life sentence was unsuitable for a “tragic but unintended conduct.”
Despite being innocent, “your sentence is unfair compared to those offenders in our criminal justice system who committed premeditated and violent crimes,” Polis wrote in a letter to Aguilera-Mederos.
According to Polis, a family of Aguilera-Mederos’ attorneys works in the governor’s office, albeit the relative is not engaged in decision-making. Polis claims that the case “highlights the lack of uniformity between phrases.”
Polis remarked, “This was a devastating occurrence that touched many Coloradans.” “Though your acts have caused great suffering, I am heartened by your introspection and the commercial vehicle safety reforms taken in the aftermath of this catastrophe to guarantee that this sort of disaster does not occur again.”
In an area where the commercial vehicle speed limit is 45 mph, Aguilera-Mederos allegedly drove a truck with a trailer transporting lumber at an estimated 85 mph. In a chain reaction collision that culminated in a fire, 28 cars were involved.
William Bailey, 67, Doyle Harrison, 61, Miguel Lamas Arrellano, 24, and Stanley Politano, 69, were killed in the crash. A resentencing hearing had been scheduled for January by prosecutors.13 in the hopes of reducing Aguilera-Mederos’ prison time.
The case was “exceptional,” according to First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King, and necessitated “an unorthodox method.” Instead, her team wanted to resent him to a jail sentence of 20 to 30 years.
As part of our efforts to ensure the court -which has the most information about what happened in this instance – strikes the appropriate balance when considering a new sentence, we have taken and will continue to take the necessary steps.
At the original sentencing, Judge A. Bruce Jones stated that the law forced him to sentence Aguilera-Mederos to consecutive terms, meaning they would be served consecutively.
“If I had the discretion, if I believed I had the discretion,” Jones said, “I wouldn’t run those sentences consecutively.” The public outcry over the century-plus sentence culminated in a commutation petition with more than 5 million signatures.